A police call in North Memphis got serious quickly when a vehicle pulled up to the scene and the driver fired on police officers on March 7, 2018. Following the shots, the driver led police on a chase before being caught and arrested.
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According to Memphis Police Department spokesman Karen Rudolph, the reason the driver initially shot at officers is still unknown. The investigation is continuing.
The situation began at Chelsea and Woodlawn in North Memphis, where police were on scene for a call when a vehicle not associated with the call pulled up. Shots were fired from the passenger side of a 2008 Chevy Impala, which then drove away with police vehicles in pursuit.
The chase ended near the intersection of Forrest Avenue and North Avalon Street, when the vehicle crashed. Both individuals in the car attempted to escape on foot. One was caught immediately. The second individual evaded police capture for several hours, causing a lockdown of a large portion of the Evergreen District in Midtown. However, that individual was later caught as well, without further incident.
One individual named in the incident was 24-year-old LaDerron Easley, who was charged with four counts of attempted murder and evading arrest. The other individual involved is not yet identified by the police in a formal release of information.
Two guns were recovered at the scene of the car crash. It is confirmed that the police did not fire at all during this incident. Police at the Chelsea and Woodlawn scene were retrieving shell casings as evidence and taking photographs, including photos of the stop sign that was knocked over by the Impala, causing a plastic piece to detach from the vehicle.
Individuals in the neighborhood where the shooting took place reported fear and distress at the unexpected gunshots. They also expressed gratitude that no neighborhood children were injured by gunfire or the ensuing police chase. Instead, the neighborhood can rest easy that all residents are safe and the two responsible for shooting at officers are in custody.
Incidents of police shot and killed in the line of duty have steadily increased in recent years. The decision to take shots at a police officer actively investigating an incident can lead to serious charges and jail-time as a result of a guilty verdict. High speed chases are also situations that lead to serious jail time when caught and found guilty. The combination of these charges can result in a significant sentence for those involved.
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